Keep the shark inside you alive!

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the waters close to Japan have not held many fish for decades. So the fishermen had to go further out to sea to catch their supply of fish, the fishing boats got bigger and bigger.
The farther the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring in the fish. If the return trip took more than a few days, the fish were not fresh and they lost their fresh taste.

To solve this problem, fishing companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go farther and stay longer. However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen and they did not like frozen fish. Also, the frozen fish brought a lower price. So fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin. After a little thrashing around, the fish stopped moving. They were tired and dull, but alive. Unfortunately, the Japanese could still taste the difference; because the fish did not move for days, they lost their fresh-fish taste.

How did the Japanese fish company solve this problem? To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies added a small shark to the tanks that the fish were kept in. The shark of course eats a few fish, but most of the fish arrive in a very lively state due to the fact that the fish are challenged.

Keep that shark inside you alive!


Challenge yourself everyday. Push yourself everyday. The more the sharks (challenges), the more you are forced to move forward. The more the sharks, the more you will be motivated to work better.

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How can i get rid of my acne?

1) Wash your face twice a day with a mild soap. You want to clear away the dead skin cells and dirt that might otherwise lead to acne, but don’t dry out your face, scrub it roughly, or wash it excessively. Three times might be too much for you.
2) Use only moisturizers (or other skincare products) that are labeled as “non-comedogenic” or “non-acnegenic.” These are ones designed not to contribute to breakouts. Some natural products are likely to be fine, but don’t blindly trust everything labeled as “natural”; not everything “natural” is going to be ideal for your skin. Consider an oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer with an SPF of 30 or higher (protects your skin from sun damage), such as a moisturizer like CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM with SPF 30, Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 50, or Neutrogena Healthy Defense Moisturizer with SPF 45 (among others – check your pharmacy shelves).
3) Avoid acne myths, such as home remedies for breakouts. Proven first-line therapies (apart from those mentioned above and by Dr. Bollmann) include topical retinoids, topical antibiotic creams, and oral antibiotic pills. These therapies can be prescribed by a doctor after a medical evaluation and will get results.
4) Don’t squeeze or pick at pimples. This can worsen inflammation and potentially scarring later.
5. Clogged pores:The main and universal cause of acne. As the forehead lies in the T Zone, which is known for its excess oil production quality, the pores tends to get clogged leading to acne. Clogged pores can easily be dealt with a good CTM routine with a monthly session with the steamer. Please don’t overdo the steaming session however relaxing or effective it is as excessive steaming is not advisable for acne-prone skin.
6. Dandruff in hair:

Dandruff in hair can trigger acne in forehead. Try to get rid of the dandruff using a good anti-dandruff shampoo, your acne will vanish like magic.
7. Oily scalp:

If you have oily scalp, the oil tends to seep and result in clogged pores and acne on your forehead. Make sure you wash your hair on alternate days to ensure an oil-free scalp.
8. Certain Medications:

Certain medications like birth control pills have a tendency to trigger forehead acne in certain people. Consult/question your doctor every time he prescribes you medication relating to hormonal issues.
9. Digestive problems:

Digestive problem is probably the main cause of forehead acne if you do not have the issues mentioned above. It needs to be tackled with a balanced diet. Drink lots of water and include green leafy vegetables and fruits in your diet. Avoid fried foods and artificial tasters and almost anything that disrupts your tummy’s happiness. Exercising regularly helps too.
10. Excess stress:

Stress is one thing that has something or the other to contribute to most of our illnesses. So beat it by having a healthy life style. Yoga and meditation helps in reducing stress to a great extent. No time for yoga? Indulge yourself in a relaxing spa for an instant stress release. However hard you work, taking some “me” time definitely has its own merits right?
11. Certain Hair products:

Certain hair styling products like hair spray, heat protectant, serum etc has a tendency to trigger acne when they come into contact with your forehead. Ladies with bangs, beware.
12. Over exfoliating:

There is an ancient south Indian proverb that says “if used excessively, even elixir will transform into poison”. Though exfoliating helps in removing dead cells and keeping skin fresh, overdoing it could result in skin irritation and acne. Exfoliation is best when not done more than twice a week.
13. Wearing helmets and caps:

If you are someone who drives two wheelers then helmet becomes the most important need. And, we cannot clean our helmets like makeup brushes once in two days etc to keep it dirt free.Hence, it is always advisable to cover your head and forehead with a clean cotton cloth ordupatta before wearing helmet so that your precious forehead is kept away from dirt and possible acne break out. Forgoing helmet is highly dangerous.
14. Hormonal causes and other genetic factors:

The final and most difficult to deal with is the hormonal and genetic factors. One of my friends used to get acne on her forehead every time before her periods. Though such factors are difficult to eradicate especially if you are in your teen years or expecting to start a family, they could surely be treated by proper medication.


1) You don’t pray 5 times a day.
So how exactly do you call yourself Muslim? No, please explain. Believing that there is a Creator doesn’t mean you’re a Muslim. Muslim by definition means the one who submits to Allah. 
And submitting means fulfilling the five pillars and more. But the other stuff – the hijab, the beard, the sunnahs, the Quran recitation, the sadaqa, the extra fasting – all of those are branches. They aren’t the trunk.
You’re a sinner – yes. Every single person is a sinner. Even Allah told our Muhammad [saw] that the sins on his back were burdening him and so Allah removed them. Who doesn’t sin? But that’s why you have prayer. To remind you of your purpose. To seek forgiveness. To wipe away your sins when you make wudhu.
When the people of Jannah ask the people of Hell what crime they committed. The first thing they say is: we were not of those who prayed.
2) You make up all your prayers at the end of the day.
You can pat yourself on the back for not disregarding the five prayers altogether. But you should also get a reality check.
“Making up” a prayer is valid if it was unintentional. Like sleeping through your fajr alarms. But missing it because of school, because of hanging out, because of studying, because of work – those aren’t unintentional. You are intentionally putting off your prayer. If this was okay to Allah – don’t you think He would have allowed the soldiers to do that? 
3) You think it’s okay because you’re a good person. 
Fine. Don’t fulfill Allah’s right upon you. Face Him and rationalize that with Him. Tell Him how you got the gift of Islam, and how your mother taught you the words of Surah Fatiha and how your friends all rushed to pray and how His message came and you loved it but praying was too much for you. Tell Him, how He doesn’t know His creation, how He made it too hard for you, how He didn’t answer your duas so you stopped praying. Do you have the courage to step in front of the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth, and everything in between, of intellect and nature, the tiny ant and the howling wind. You want to tell the owner of everything that exists and doesn’t exist – that you couldn’t pray? That it was too much of Him to ask from you? After He gives you oxygen and a functioning nose, sight and beautiful ornaments to see, minds to think with, words to communicate with, friends to laugh with, family to find comfort with, a meal a day, and clean water. This Allah of yours that gives and gives, can’t get a few minutes of your day?
There’s a valley in Hell called “ghai”. This valley is so horrific that Hell itself seeks refuge. In Surah Maryam, it says that it’s for people who were cheating with their salaah. So they would purposefully wait until it was the end of duhr time, so they could make duhr and then make asr afterwards. This valley is for people who prayed five times but were cheating with their prayers. Making loopholes, making it easier, making it out of convenience for them. So imagine the people who don’t pray at all. Imagine their place.
In the tafseer of Surah Maryam, Sh. Omar Suleiman mentioned after talking about this ayah that there are scholars who say: “If a person missed their salaah – they would be pulled off the siraat and forced to make salaah in Jahannam” even though it would be worthless at that point.

The first question Allah asks you – has nothing to do with your hijab, or your gender relations, or your wealth. The first thing He asks about are your prayers. If they’re in check, if you pass that first question then the rest of your judgement is easy.
I explain it to children in this manner: Imagine on the first day of school, you make a really good impression on the teacher. And then a month later, you kind of want an extension on a paper, or you want to hand in a homework late, or you made some mistakes. The teacher will probably be lenient with you. Whereas imagine someone made a bad impression the first day. Do you think the teacher will excuse them or even want to excuse them for some small things? 
Imagine a book full of circles. Five circles for every day since you’ve hit puberty. Most of the circles would be empty. Because even for those of you who pray – you might not have gotten credit for your prayer. You might have been completely thinking about something else the entire time. You might only get half a circle, or 75% of it filled. Because you got distracted half way or a couple of times. You might have prayed too fast, messing up the words of Allah so you only got a speck on that circle. 
So how do you fill those circles? Allah says, “See if my servant has voluntary prayers, complete his obligatory prayers shortage with his voluntary prayers.”
That’s why you do the sunnahs. That’s why you do the nafl. That’s why there’s no such thing as boredom because you can pray. Because none of us can say we have perfect prayers and we’re covered. We can probably pick out a handful of prayers in our lifetime that were with perfect attention and really heartfelt. A handful. Perhaps six times. Almost all of them during times of extreme hardship.
Allah does not wish to burden you. There are studies done that show how a few minutes of meditation can do so much. Prayer is nothing like meditation – but it’s a few minutes away from the regular mess. It repositions your life – if you’re actually thinking about Allah during that time. It tells you – this world is temporary, these hardships will pass, this ease is from Allah, your home is the hereafter, there are bigger problems in the world that what you have on your plate now, and you are important, and you can help, and Allah loves you.

On the day of judgement, everyone will be commanded to make sajda and some people won’t be able to. They will try. But it will be like an iron rod through their spine and they will fall backwards. May we not be humiliated like that. Ameen.

When we say “but Allah didn’t answer my duas even though I prayed all week”: Allah gave you your organs. The very organs you use to sin. The very blessings Allah gave you – you use them to sin. And you have the audacity to say that of Allah? How bold of a slave. How can you be a slave of Allah and say that to your master?
“You gave me my eyes but I’m going to watch haraam. You gave me my beauty but I won’t wear hijab.” — Dr. Farhan Abdul Azeez

Angels pray when you pray. You’re never actually alone. And the places that you’ve prayed on, will all testify for you on the Day of Judgement. 

Practical Steps: (Implement them one at a time so it builds up)
[1] Wudhu – being calm during wudhoo. Someone said it’s like a surgeon that scrubs in. Making sure everything is clean. “When you’re washing your hand, think of all the sins these hands have committed. How many websites it has typed, how many messages backbiting others, how many pictures of haraam it has liked. And hope that the water removes those sins.”
[2] Preparing when you stand up in prayer that you might die before finishing this prayer. That this was it.
[3] Choosing Surahs consciously. Not just automatic whatever comes to your tongue – as it’s usually the small surahs. But really picking the ayahs you want to say.
[4] Being rested in every position. When you move, make yourself completely at peace rested in that position even if it takes a second longer.
[5] Staying in sujood for as long as possible. Making all the duas you know in the sujood.
[6] “The quality of your entertainment will affect the quality of your salaah” because if you’re watching a movie a little big rated, your prayer will have remnants of the imagery. And if you’re addicted to shows, you might start remembering the characters while you are praying. So realign your life. What to keep, what to get rid of.

Your goal is to become a believer. The ayahs in the Quran say “Oh you who believe”. The Mu’mens. Not the Muslims. Believers are a different breed of Muslims. They’re more than just five daily rushed prayers because it’s a duty. They’re the ones who hold every ayah to be the truth and they attempt to fulfill every right and every request Allah made to them.

To those who don’t pray five times. To those who haven’t prayed in years. To those who struggle.
This is my plea. Pray. 
I beg you to pray. I love you guys so much and I don’t know if I’ll get to Jannah, but if I do, I can’t see anyone I love still by the siraat, swimming in fire. I need you guys in Jannah. And if I don’t get there, I don’t want to see you with me scorching. I don’t want you to be fed blood and pus and crushed bones. I don’t want your head to be hammered, and your feet to be chained.
I need you to pray. I don’t care if you don’t know how to, you’ll figure it out. You’ll youtube it. You’ll relearn it. I don’t care if it’s without focus. Just pray it. At least make the movement. At least bow to the ground so you’ll have that one part of the earth and it can testify. At least bow so that your forehead isn’t burnt while you pay your dues in the fire.
The people in Hell are going to beg to come back for just one sujood. You get to do it now.

“How I respond to criticism”

When I answer a question in a debate or a comment on social media, what I actually do is – share my perspective. When someone criticizes me in comments or on my face, I do not like it. In fact, I hate it. I feel like giving a brutal reply to him/her. Sometimes I also wish to downvote or report it.
Because I don’t like his perspective.

If I cannot like his perspective, he has every right not to like mine! 

Thus, his commenting is justified.
There will be a difference between me and him only if I do not hurt his sentiments by calling his perspective wrong. In other words, not doing what he did to me.

What I can do is:
Remove my spectacles of perspective & try wearing his. It will either blur my vision or make it clearer. In both the cases, I’ll at least get to try new spectacles. There’s no need to tell him that his spectacles is a piece of trash, because for him, it works perfectly fine. However, if it makes my vision clearer, I may thank him.

What is more precious than TIME?

The 3 Ps are more precious than time. [ Purpose + Persistence + Patience ]

Would you like to hear a story?
Once, a frustrated man went to see the wise saint of his village.
“I don’t know what to do with my life. How do I find my purpose?”, the young man asked.
“Follow me,” said the old man.
They walked to a far away river where they found prospectors panning for gold.
“There are three types of prospectors here,” the sage said.
“There are those who strike gold straight away. Excited, they take their plunder, convert it into cash and live comfortably for the rest of their lives. 

Then there are those who pan for years. They know that there is gold here and they have seen others strike it rich, so they persist until they too find the gold that they’ve been searching for”, the sage continued.
“What about the third type?” asked the young man.
“They are the individuals who get frustrated that they haven’t found what they are looking for, so after a day, a week or a year or more, they give up, walk away and never find gold”, replied the wise saint with a smile.
You may have a lot of time in hand, but if you don’t know what to utilize it for, if you don’t have the courage to continuously work for it or if you don’t want to wait to cherish the outcome, the time in hand is of no use.
There is no guarantee that you’ll get what you want.
There is no guarantee that you’ll get it the way you want.

There is no guarantee that you’ll get it quicker than others.

But, if you don’t try,
there’s a guarantee that you’ll never get to know,

what the story could have been!

“Some most important unspoken rules in life.”

1.Stay honest to yourself – If you don’t like something, learn to say ‘no’. You may think in the heat of moment that you can sacrifice for your loved ones, but one day, you’ll give up. It will hurt both you and your partners in life. Hence, stay truthful to yourself.
2.Embrace change, it is permanent – Don’t be scared to change. If you think you should not do something because then your life will make no sense, you’re wrong. In the end, you’ll be able to knit up your story in a way that connects all dots. So change!

3.Accept your present – What is, is. If the remote control was in your hands, the game of life would not have been so interesting. Sometimes, the cup is empty, other times, the cup is full. We face suffering when we attach ourselves with what lies in the cup.

4.Don’t hesitate to be different – If the ones around you don’t feel the same way about ‘something’ that drives you crazy, change the audience, not that ‘something’. Not every ear is meant to hear the same story. Stay crazy.

5.Try switching roles – If you expect a friend to call, try calling him. If you’re a taker, try being a giver. Sometimes, letting someone else be the centre of attraction is a pleasant experience. Let the other person know you care.

6.Pay attention – Remember birthdays, spell names correctly, quote their past messages in conversations. A good listener is a definite turn on.

7.There’s nothing like ‘The Best’ – You wanna be the best singer? Whom would you target to surpass? The best writer? Whose work should sound nothing in front of yours? There’s no best. If you want to compete, your biggest competitor can be the vision of yourself 5 years from now.

8.Start when you don’t feel like – Imagine a staircase. You’re on step 1 right now. Now imagine yourself at the top of it, at step 10. Look below. See yourself standing at step 1. Now tell yourself out loud – “If you don’t start, you’d probably stay at step 1 forever”!

9.It’s okay not to have absolute clarity – I don’t know what I was born for. No clue what the purpose of my life is. It’s okay! If something gives you goosebumps, begin. Commence with the aim to perform your role well. That’ll be more than enough.

10.Action is important – If you are totally mad after something, you visualize it several times and are thinking that you’ll get it, you should probably meet the person who was working hard for it while you were busy imagining. The ‘craze’ gives you better enthusiasm to start & continue. But you see, both ‘start’ & ‘continue’ demand action.

“Things that do not matter in life.”

1. “You’re beautiful/handsome.”
This compliment always works. It makes us feel so proud of ourselves. We feel blessed for possessing the features, that many weren’t able to. We think we’re gifted.
Just think for a moment – how do we get the so called external beauty?
It’s nothing more than a lucky genetic mutation!

Yet, we measure our likability in society based on how beautiful/handsome we are.
Look at her –

She’s Haseena Hussain, an acid attack survivor. Her external beauty was ruined by her boss, when he threw an entire bottle of acid at her. She became visually impaired and was horrified to receive the response offered by society.
She didn’t give up. She wished to apply for a job.

She learnt typewriting and practiced rigorously.

Her hands were weak enough, yet she continued.

She cleared the tests and now works as a stenographer.

She is the sole bread earner of her family & also works for an NGO.

This is her photograph before the attack –

Now, you tell me. What would you call a gift?
The external beauty you had been boasting of or the internal beauty that gives courage to people like Haseena Hussain? She is now a role model for our society.
“You’re beautiful/handsome.” 
“Thank you”, said the genetic mutation that got lucky.

2. Age.

Most people assume that they will become wiser as they get older.
Or that they are somehow better than their younger peers because they are more experienced.

But age and experience are very different. Age is just a measure of time. Experience is a measure of…the knowledge you accumulated through events and things you did and critically learnt from. The learning part is key too.